#26. To Love All Human Beings
Who Are of the Covenant.
"Love your neighbor." The verse previous, Leviticus 19:17, tells us exactly what this means: "Do not hate a fellow Israelite in your heart. Rebuke your neighbor frankly so you will not share in their guilt."
First, it is expected that your neighbor is already a fellow believer. Torah never expects you live amongst pagans. According to Torah, either the entire world is Torah or else the world is segregated between Torah and pagans.
Second, it is expected that both you and your neighbor know and understand Torah, else how can you rebuke properly or the rebuke be taken and understood properly by your neighbor?
Third, it is commanded that sin (which is, according to Torah, only a transgression against Torah) be confronted. If sin is not confronted, that is, if you do not rebuke your neighbor, you hate your neighbor.
Fourth, if you do not confront your neighbor, you share in the guilt of your neighbor. In civil terms, you aided and abetted your neighbor to commit a crime against the Law of God (that is, to sin). In spiritual terms, you helped to destroy your neighbor by permitting him to fall further into his abyss. Doing nothing about sin is, according to Torah, nearly the same as participating in it.
Therefore, according to Torah, you should love your neighbor, who should be a Torah believer, by rebuking your neighbor to stop sinning.
How do I know if my neighbor is sinning? If something is obviously against Torah, or passed to you, even by gossip, you know it, and it becomes your commanded duty to tell your neighbor to stop sinning.
How should you confront your sinning neighbor? Christ gives us the entire procedure (Matthew 18:15-17) on confronting sinners, from the courageous first step, which is meeting with that sinner one-on-one, to the final ousting of the sinner from one's life and congregation if he or she refuses to listen, that is, if he or she refuses to stop sinning.
Jesus tells us the reason for such confrontation is to "gain a brother." Your neighbor should not hold a grudge, or seek to get revenge, for your confrontation. Your neighbor should thank you for rebuking! In this way we become one people, that is, all Torah.
Is it necessary to confront and rebuke every single transgression against Torah? Certainly, there is priority. We cannot spend all of our time watching our neighbors, nor can we spend all of our energy confronting, nor can we use up all of our good will rebuking. It is of course a matter of personal choice and ability how much you can and will do. There are consequences to every decision. We cannot, however, refrain simply to keep peace. Jesus warns that to refrain from rebuking has grave consequences for the entire world: "Truly, I say to you, whatever you bind on earth shall be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven."
We are not loosed from rebuking through Jesus Christ, but rather we are urged and instructed to do more. Jesus learned and taught no other Law but Torah, so there is no reason to believe Christians should rebuke any less, or rebuke spiritually anything but transgression against Torah.
In a Torah society, there is another reason to rebuke. If permitted to continue, the sinner might be arrested under Torah civil law and face legal consequences. If a sinner can be persuaded to stop sinning before such arrest and legal consequences, you have gained not only a brother but also a grateful brother.
"Minding your own business" is NOT an option, being not a Biblical concept, but rather a man-made concept of libertarianism that contains the libertine elements of hedonism, which in some (or many) instances overturns Torah commandments. One such obvious example would be sexual libertarianism.
What about "love your neighbor as yourself"? Are we not gentler on ourselves? Should we not be likewise gentle on the sinful neighbor? No! The commandment does NOT say to be gentle. The command is to LOVE, and we have already defined this love as REBUKE. To "love yourself" is ALSO to REBUKE yourself! There should be no contradiction in the way we love ourselves versus loving our neighbors. It should be the same, and such rebuke and admonishment can be summed up in two words: "Stop sinning!"
How do we know Torah itself is not the problem? If we want corruption and lawlessness, rampant hedonism and wickedness, then yes, Torah is the problem.
We should all desire to be Torah, and Torah should be our Law. The Jew-haters will point their fingers and say, "See? The Jews want to rule over us!" The Christians will pretend to have inherited some altered and superior version of Torah. The Muslims will say they are the rightful recipients of Torah. The hedonists will bristle, the pagans will dance in frenzy, and the atheists will gather their righteous indignation against the Law which would bind and eliminate all their ways.
Naturally, all those who do not desire Torah will immediately cast an evil eye our way, to stop our lawful expectation that they should "stop sinning!" Torah thus becomes an antagonist against other belief systems. This, however, should not dissuade us.
Is Torah supremacy a world we should expect, or want? According to both the Old and New Testament, it doesn't matter. The world shall rebel against Torah until the very end, and Armageddon shall come to pass due to this rebellion.
This lesson has many points to it. Listen in today for much more on this subject!
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